Three questions to ask when choosing timber flooring
Whether renovating or building a new home, timber floors add a warmth and authenticity to an interior that is quite often hard to replicate.
Flooring is an important investment, and homeowners benefit from doing their research to better understand the options when shopping for timber flooring.
Along with considering the type of wood, colour and price, there are other factors to consider before buying timber flooring.
To help with the selection process, ask the following questions:
What colour and style would best suit the home?
In general, timber is a neutral palette that can be used in harmony with a variety of other materials, finishes and textures to create a desired look, from a Federation cottage to a beachy Hamptons-style home.
Lighter timbers, are a popular choice, as they provide a fresh, neutral canvas for interior designs and can help make a smaller area feel more spacious.
Wide boards are also trending, ideal for making an impact in larger rooms, and connecting open plan spaces. Darker shades will make a space feel more cosy and comfortable, ideal for homes in cooler climates.
How much maintenance do timber floors need?
With proper care and maintenance, a timber floor should continue to look good and wear well for many years. Regularly vacuum it with a soft bristle head or an electrostatic attachment, or sweep with an electrostatic mop.
Too much moisture can cause timber flooring to swell and cup, so dry floors with a clean cotton towel immediately after mopping and avoid cleaning with steam.
Fit protective pads to the base of chairs and tables to avoid scuff marks. Solid hardwood flooring can generally be sanded up to three times without impact on the grain and colour. However be aware that when a textured or coloured board needs to be refinished, these surface features will generally diminish.
What are the main types of flooring and how are they different?
Engineered timber boards have a timber veneer of three to six millimetres applied over a composite material, usually plywood or rubberwood. The boards are typically 14-millimetres thick and come pre-finished in several different widths to help create an instant floor makeover.
Solid timber floorboards are made entirely of wood and available in two options to suit different types of sub-floors:
Overlay 14 millimetres is thick and non-structural, which means it can be laid over existing sub-floor surfaces, including tiles and concrete; and solid 19-millimetre timber boards, which are structural, meaning they can be installed either directly over bearers and joists, or on top of particleboard or plywood sheeting. The type of flooring homeowners choose will be largely guided by how their home is constructed.